The 104th season of the National Football League (NFL) kicks off on September 8, when the reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions at the Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri. It marks the first of 272 games taking place over 18 weeks, with all 30 franchises vying to reach Super Bowl LVIII. Of course, some teams have a better chance than others of getting their hands on the famous Vince Lombardi Trophy, but which team has every chance of causing an upset, ruffling a few feathers, and leaving the big guns on the sidelines?

It should come as no surprise that the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and San Francisco 49ers are the four teams that the bookmakers and NFL experts favor for Super Bowl glory this season. The Chiefs know how to get the job done, while the Eagles’ roster is arguably the strongest overall and has played together for numerous seasons. The Bills always get the job done during the regular season before falling apart in the playoffs, while the 49ers have the best defense in the league, and we all know defenses win you championships. However, there are a handful of teams outside the top four that could find themselves heading to the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on February 11 for Super Bowl LVIII.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are one of the NFL’s most famous teams, partly because of their incredible results during the 1970s. They won the Super Bowl in 1972 and 1973, with the 72 Dolphins being one of only three teams to enjoy a perfect season. The 2023 Dolphins are not on par with the legendary 1972 side, but the Florida online betting markets make them the ninth favorite to win the Super Bowl this season.

Last season was one of mixed emotions for Dolphins fans. It was the first campaign with forward-thinking head coach Mike McDaniel at the helm. After winning their opening three fixtures, the Dolphins lost their next three but went into their bye week with an impressive 7-3 record. However, injuries ravaged the Dolphins’ starting line-up, and they ultimately finished with a 9-8 record, which was just enough to see them reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

The Dolphins’ offense is a thing of beauty, but it is ultra-reliant on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The team went 8-5 with Tagovailoa in the pocket but missed him dearly when he twice found himself on the sidelines due to concussion protocols. If, and it is a big if, Tagovailoa can stay fit for the entire season, the Dolphins have every chance of beating anyone on their day.

Wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are incredibly talented and Tagovailoa’s go-to men. They enjoyed 194 receptions, 3,066 yards, and 15 touchdowns between them.

The Dolphins are more defensively sound going into the 2023 regular season. In 2022, the Dolphins ranked 18th overall for yards allowed but were the sixth-best in the league for stopping rushing plays. However, they languished in 27th place regarding receiving yards allowed. The latter should vastly improve thanks to renowned defensive coordinator Vic Fangio working his magic on the training field. Also, the Dolphins acquired six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Los Angeles Rams, and he will shore up that leaky passing defense.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are the world’s most valuable sports team, with a massive $8 billion valuation. The five-time Super Bowl champions are known throughout the sporting world, although there has been a lack of success over the past couple of decades. After dominating the NFL in the early 1990s, the Cowboys have only won five playoff games since clinching the 1995 Super Bowl title, meaning they have yet to progress past the divisional playoffs in almost 30 years.

Having finished with a 12-5 record in 2021 and 2022, long-suffering Cowboys fans are hopeful of another winning season. The Cowboys must get off to a good start because they have a tough run of fixtures toward the business end of the campaign. They host the Philadelphia Eagles on Week 14 before traveling to the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins. Indeed, three of the Cowboys’ last four games are on the road.

As with most NFL teams, the Cowboys’ success hinges on the form and fitness of their star quarterback. There is no doubt about Dak Prescott‘s talents. He missed five games last season after injuring his right thumb in the 19-3 opening-day defeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cowboys may have won four of the five games without Prescott pulling the strings, but they are a far better unit with him on the field.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals have never won the Super Bowl since joining the league in 1968. They have reached the NFL’s biggest game three times but returned home empty-handed on all three occasions. The Bengals last reached the Super Bowl in 2021, falling 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams. They came close to achieving back-to-back Super Bowl appearances last season, but the Chiefs defeated them 23-20 in the AFC Championship game.

In Joe Burrow, the Bengals have a potential NFL MVP calling the shots from the pocket. The Bengals selected Burrow as the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the former LSU man has shown why he is so highly rated among the football fraternity. Burrow has laser-like accuracy and an almost unnatural ability to stay calm under pressure. However, his offensive line must better protect him because he has been sacked 123 times in 42 starts in a Bengals uniform.

The Bengals know Burrow needs more protection, and that is reflected in their dealings during the offseason. Orlando Brown Jr. joined from the Chiefs on a four-year $64 million contract and adds much-needed strength in the tackle position. Brown Jr. has been a Pro Bowler every year since 2019 and only gave up four sacks last year.

The additions of safety Nick Scott and linebacker Germaine Pratt further strengthen the Bengals’ chance of capturing that elusive Super Bowl title.